It’s 3:15 PM. Do you know where your kids are? Did they leave school already? Are they home yet?
You accidentally dropped your shiny, expensive smartphone. Where is it? Did you make it easy for the lucky discoverer to return it?
Your friend just spilled a beverage all over the table. The same table that your phone is resting on. The screen just went dark. Do you have a solid warranty?
iHound Software provides a suite of features to monitor the location of your family members, and maximize the life of your smartphones. iHound is equally powerful as a digital leash that ensures your kids stay in certain areas, or a tool to help recover your electronic investments after theft or damage occurs. Using GPS, push notifications, and social networks, you will always be up to date with your family’s whereabouts.
iPhone App (and maybe Android, too)
iHound’s apps are installed on the smartphones you want to keep track of. This can be your childrens’ phones, or even your own if you are prone to misplacing it. (Don’t worry it happens to all of us.) Parents can use the dashboard web app, which is a website optimized for smartphones, for managing the service on the go. Just navigate to ihoundsoftware.com from a smartphone and you’ll see it. From there you can change account settings, send alerts, and see the locations of all phones on your account.
The iPhone app runs smoothly in the background to keep in touch with iHound’s service. We’ve heard of features like this before from apps that automatically check you in to your Foursquare locations, but you usually pay for that convenience with poor battery life. iHound’s constantly running GPS tracking software still drains battery life, but there is definitely an improvement over previous location sharing apps.
The most important feature for keeping track of smartphones is sending messages that you know people will here. iHound’s website can send push notifications with sounds and custom messages to phones that have the app installed and running. Unfortunately, the sounds won’t be heard if the phone is off or vibrate mode is on.
The website lets you know where your family’s smartphones are at all times. If a phone is stolen, iHound will help you print out a police report. Just click the “Print Report” button and hand over the result to the police.
Unlike Apple’s Find My Phone feature, iHound lets you set up perimeters for your devices. For example, you can be notified via push notification or email when your child leaves school (an “exit trigger”) or arrives at home (an “entry trigger”). Emails can also include a map showing where your child is currently located.
One particularly interesting feature is for those who visit the same locations everyday and are tired of repeating checkins on Foursquare. Yes, this deviates from iHound’s security and protection focus. Set up one geofence for your work address, one for your gym, and one for your favorite coffee shop. Using geofences set with a .05 mile radius (iHound’s smallest radius available) you can tell iHound to automatically check in at these venues.
If you aren’t jumping on the location based social networking bandwagon, you can also automatically share your location on more mainstream addictions like Facebook and Twitter along with maps and specific messages. I’m sure your friends won’t mind you bragging every time you arrive at the gym.
Here’s how you set up a geofence.
Step 1 – Set up an address and radius
$99. 2 years of insurance for your iPhone.
That may sound pricey compared to Apple’s AppleCare, but it covers a lot more than you would expect (like smartphones besides the iPhone). Have you ever dropped your iPhone only to learn that Apple won’t repair accidental damage like cracked screens or liquid spills? Personally I haven’t because I don’t drop anything that expensive, but perhaps you have at some point. Fortunately, iHound covers both cracked screens and liquid damage. The best part is they will send you a replacement phone before they receive your damaged one. Now that’s customer service. And if 2 years isn’t long enough you can purchase the 3 year plan for an extra $40.
$4.99 for 1 sticker.
$10.99 for 5 stickers.
$19.99 for 10 stickers.
Stickers are placed on your smartphones. Hopefully if you lose your fancy device, someone kind and generous finds it, and contacts you through the iHound website using the sticker.
iHound’s apps, warranties, stickers, and location sharing allow you to keep a close watch on your family and their smartphones. Whether you want to ensure those phones last forever or be constantly notified when your family members leave and arrive, iHound is for you. The app costs $3.99 and comes with 3 months of protection. If you’re happy with the service you can extend it to 2 years for $19.99.